Don’t we all love the relief that humidifiers bring to extremely dry rooms? Think about it, our skin and throat are more likely to be irritated by dryness and the allergies that thrive in such environments.
But like everything else, humidifiers should be used with caution, especially where you have electronic devices. It then begs the question, can a humidifier damage electronics? If it does, how? How then can one use a humidifier in the presence of other electronic devices without causing any damage?
Can a humidifier damage electronics?
Let’s be clear about the facts; the presence of a humidifier cannot damage electronics, and neither does its operation.
However, concerns are often raised about excess humidity (moisture) in the room and how it can affect devices.
Electronics are vulnerable to humidity, especially those that can gather and form a tiny puddle on sensitive parts of electronic or simple droplets that fall on your devices. Laptops and other forms of computers are the most vulnerable.
The moisturizing feel of a humidifier might get us carried away. You must understand that high humidity is as harmful to electronics as very low humidity.
Just as excess moisture may collect at certain spots and condense- causing harm to parts of your electronics.
If your environment is usually hot, and this moisture can create a colder temperature, allowing moisture to settle for a while.
Apart from corrosion on exposed metallic parts which may result in rust over time and lead to the absence of conductivity, increased resistance and malfunctions, there are other problems that may arise.
Thin water film may also collect on your appliances or devices and lead to physical damage, short circuit or even loss of data.
How do humidifiers affect computers?
Computers are one of those devices that are vulnerable to humidity. Try and maintain average humidity as best as you can.
It is true that excessive dryness can lead to static electricity in parts of your computer, having excess humidity can do worse damage.
Condensation, as a result of excess moisture, can affect the internal components of your computer and also cause corrosion to take place faster.
It is the same way metals you leave outside rust in reaction to damp air on rainy days. This situation is called Atmospheric Corrosion by experts.
Water droplets can also alter the electricity’s path by providing a different route with less resistance than the ones intended.
It is also important to note that excess moisture breeds molds and other organisms that may attach themselves to computers and cause some problems, if not taken care of early enough.
Mobile Phones & Tablets may also suffer due to Humidifier
Much of the wet problems associated with mobile phones and pads have to do with actual submersion in water.
However, sources have shown that excess humidity (above 60%) for an extended period can lead to condensation, especially when supported by certain climatic conditions.
Other appliances and devices that may be affected by humidity include DVD players, Home Theater Systems, and other handheld devices.
High heat is another thing that you should be careful about. In very high temperatures, it is often difficult for your electronic fan to work properly and heat up faster. This can be a problem and can support humidity in your home.
What humidity is bad for electronics?
The recommended indoor humidity in most parts of the world is 30% to 50%. This is the best amount of moisture for your skin, body, home and your electronics.
Too low or too high humidity is bad for electronics. That is, you must ensure the humidity level in your home is not below 30% or beyond 50% if you want to keep your electronics in good condition.
You already know that your electronics should be kept away from water, but you should also know that humidity is water vapor in the air.
On the other hand, low humidity means very minimal vapor in the air. You know how extreme dryness causes surfaces and appliances to charge up, this can also happen when humidity is low, leading to electrostatic discharges between two components of a device, one device and another or even between you and your device.
Tips to avoid damage to electronics due to humidifier
To avoid damage to your electronics as a result of your humidifier, there are a few things you can do.
1. Maintain a constant room temperature
Rapidly changing your room temperature by switching an air conditioner on or off or frequently opening and shutting the windows can accelerate condensation which may harm your electronics.
2. Wait an hour before switching on
If you do effect changes in your room’s temperature or you had no way of preventing such changes, it is important you give your device or appliance (like a computer) at least an hour to acclimatize before turning it on. This will help reduce the chances of problems.
3. Use a dry rag
If you fail to prevent excess moisture and vapor actually settling on your electronics, you should turn them off and try drying with a piece of cloth.
Make sure the humidifier is turned off at this time. You may also use a hand-held dryer to ensure you take out all the moisture on the paths. If you can, open up the cover and let it dry up before using.
4. Use your air conditioner
An air conditioner doesn’t just cool the air, but also provides some measure of dryness by taking away the hot, humid air. Using an air conditioner can help reduce the moisture content in your room and prevent possible damage to your electronics.
Moderation is a virtue that we all must apply in our daily lives. Humidifiers are important to help us fight the dryness in our homes and protect us from dry, scaly skin, bleeding nose, lung irritation and allergies.
However, too much humidity will not only promote the formation and growth of mold and germs but can also affect our electronic devices. Be sure to maintain the right humidity level between 30% and 50% to secure your health and your electronics.